The essentials steps to follow in order to expand successfully your company
You are an owner of a small/family business but with a huge ambitions – there is nothing wrong about it. The most important thing in this situation is not to get greedy. It is ok for you to be impatience but this may not end well. It is crucial to follow a plan that is based on sustainable grow. Growing too fast may cause a number of serious problems – difficulties to manage all your new employees, deficit of capital and so on.
Prepare a plan
It is recommended first to make a strategy and right everything down. Check if the economics of your expansion – new branches, offices, and stores are correct. Do not be too optimistic, lower your expectations and check if everything seems ok. Furthermore, analyze where are the tricky spots, what may be a problem in future and prepare an adequate solution if such an event occurs.
Be sure that your finance allow you to stay in the business even if the expansion is not working as planned. Even more, have an exit plan – if things are not going well – how long should I be waiting and follow the plan. Doing so will assure that in difficult moment you will not take an impulse decision but rather follow the prepared strategy. This will at least minimize your losses.
Optimize your current business
If the finance allow you to expand then there are 3 major ingredients that will decide your future:
2.1. Your people – do you have the right people to grow. Have your employees already reached the limit of their skills and so it will not be possible to promote them and give them more responsibilities. If your team is good, ambition, want to progress and has the necessary abilities to do so – then you have a very good chance of succeeding.
2.2. The process – all of your business processes should be optimized. Everyone should know what and when it is expected to be done by them. When you have one or two locations with few employees it is easy to manage and fix on the moment small flaws. But in order to grow your business successfully it is required to reduce the waste and increase the efficiency of your processes as much as possible.
2.3. Check your product – is your product good enough? That is the question. Even if your product is really good it is not a bad idea to do some research. May be near your new location it will be necessary to sell a higher class product or the opposite. Thus, it is not a bad idea to be ready to make some adjustments and even release new services/goods on the market. In business the companies that adjust better are the one that succeed in long run. Therefore, you should not be scared of failure. It is more important how you react to it rather if it happens or not.
The marketing strategy of your new locations is also very important. Will you make a single campaign or you will target prospective customers separately near every location. This is to be decided based on the type of business. The most common mistake is that some owners do not advertise their new location. It is good to let know your existing customers that you are expanding and able to service them at a new location/offer them better service or higher quantity/quality depending on what your expansion is really about. You will be amazed what a positive effect this will have.
Let’s assume that we expand 1 location restaurant and make a second one. There may be some people that love the food but it is just too far away from them so they are coming just once a month or even less frequent. And if it happens that the new location is near them then it is very likely that they will visit you more frequently.
There are tons of such an examples, but the point is that advertising your expansion is important. And not targeting just new prospective customers but also your loyal ones.
The last step is once you grow to be able to unify your finance, marketing, accounting department of all locations into a single one. This will bring down the costs and thus make you even more competitive. This will present you the benefits of economies of scale.
Once you go through that process you only need to scale up. This may also be tricky so you should stay focus and continue to look over every detail. Many managers often become too confident and this may have negative effect at the end.